Workshops and conferences participation
RC28 Conference (21-23 April 2022) in London (UK), in presence
On April 23rd, Jascha Dräger presented the results of the study “The relevance of tracking and social segregation for SES gaps in achievement progress in the lower secondary school”. The study is based on a joint project of the English, French, German, and US-American teams of the DICE project. The point of departure for this study is the substantial variation in SES-achievement gaps across countries. One main reason for this may how students are assigned to different schools and classes in the different countries, particularly whether students are tracked into different schools or different courses and how socially segregated schools are.
The study shows SES gaps in achievement progress in lower secondary school in all four countries. However, SES gaps in achievement progress are larger in England and Germany than in France and the United States. The result suggests that country differences can be attributed to how students are assigned to schools as SES gaps in achievement progress within schools are of similar size in all countries. Between-school tracking is associated with larger SES gaps than course-by-course tracking. In countries without early between-school tracking, schools’ social composition replaces between-school tracking in producing SES gaps in achievement progress but only to a minor extent.
CIDER LERN Conference (October 7th 2021) in Berlin (Germany), in presence
On October 7th, Melanie Olczyk present first results on " SES-related bias in teacher assessments and its consequences for student’s achievement in primary education. A cross-national perspective". The presentation and the findings presented are joint work of the Germany-, UK-, and US-team of the DICE-project.
Various dimensions of educational success, such as student achievement, vary systematically by parental socioeconomic status (SES). Discrimination by teachers may account for at least some of the observed inequalities. Research indicates, for instance, that teacher stereotypes can initiate bias in teacher judgments along with students’ SES. Differential teacher assessments and expectations can in turn be mediated through differential verbal and non-verbal behaviors and result in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Such a process can exacerbate intergroup inequality in school achievement. While there are many studies examining the extent of bias towards various groups as well as the consequences, only a few studies approach this topic from a country comparison and, hence, consider the wider institutional setting.
In our contribution, we focus on three Western countries, namely England, Germany, and the US. In all three countries, teachers might shape educational careers, amongst others, by teaching as well as grading and sorting. In some contexts, teachers might have more impact on the educational career than in others. In Germany, for example, teachers recommend the type of secondary school a child should attend after primary school. Secondary school types strongly affect students’ educational pathways as well as their later occupational opportunities. The recommendation is mainly based on previous performance. In contrast, UK and US have comprehensive school systems and teacher assessments might condition educational careers to a lesser extent. Furthermore, the three countries differ with respect to further dimensions, which might limit or foster teacher bias, such as the mindset or state- or nationwide testing. We first investigate whether there are robust findings on SES-related bias in teacher assessments of students’ language skills at school entry, in Grade 1, across these three countries. In a second step, we examine the effects of (potentially biased) teacher assessments measured in Grade 1 on student achievement in Grades 4 to 5 as well as at age 10 to 11 in all three countries.
6th International NEPS Conference (June 8th 2021) at the LIfBi, Bamberg (Germany), virtual
On June 8th, Melanie Olczyk and Thorsten Schneider present first results on "SES and gender bias in teacher assessments and their consequences for achievement inequality". Various dimensions of educational success, such as student achievement, vary systematically by parental socioeconomic status (SES) or gender. Discrimination by teachers may account for at least some of the observed inequalities. Research indicates, for instance, that teacher stereotypes can initiate bias in teacher judgments along with students’ SES or gender. Differential teacher assessments and expectations can in turn be mediated through differential verbal and non-verbal behaviors and result in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Such a process can exacerbate intergroup inequality in school achievement. Based on NEPS Starting Cohort 2 data, we, first, investigate for Germany whether there are SES and gender bias in teacher assessments of students’ language and mathematical skills at school entry. Second, we examine the effects of (potentially biased) teacher assessments measured in Grade 1 on student achievement in Grade 4. For research question 1, we regress teacher assessment on students’ results from different tests and parents’ report on school related behavior to reduce the risk of measurement error as well as omitted variables. The residuals of these regressions are used to identify biased assessment by SES and gender. For research question 2, value added models are estimated, whereas we do not only use information on test results from Grade 1 as a predictor but also the residuals from the previous regression. The results are discussed against the background of the advantages and disadvantages of the methodological approach as well as by considering challenges like the change of teachers over time. The results for Germany are part of an overarching article that compares the situation in Germany, the UK and the US.
CIDER Spring Workshop (May 6th 2021)
On May 6th, Melanie Olczyk together with Thorsten Schneider, give a presentation on "Tracking and achievement inequalities - a cross-country analysis". The contribution focuses on the consequences of different types of tracking in lower secondary education for achievement inequalities. Country-specific inequalities in reading literacy at age 15 are regressed on inequalities observed in grade 4. Country data are from several international large scale assessment studies. The sample consists of 94 observations from 46 countries. Results show a larger increase in achievement inequalities in countries, which already assign students to different school types at the age of 10 to 12. In contrast, course-by-course tracking in secondary schools or achievement segregation between primary schools, potentially an equivalent to external tracking, do not seem to have a similar impact. The effect of early external tracking only plays out, as the average achievement inequalities are lower in primary schools here. This sparks some doubts whether an abolishment of early external tracking would reduce achievement inequality at the end of secondary education.
EAPS Group for Child and Adolescent Development (December 11th)
On December 11th, Lidia Panico on behalf of the DICE team will, for the EAPS Group for Child and Adolescent Development, give a Webinar on “Birth cohorts and comparative research on child and adolescent development”.
A large body of research has shown that socio-economic disparities in child health and development are pervasive, as demonstrated for example by international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) (e.g. PISA, PIRLS, HSBC). ILSAs have been however less able to describe underlying processes, and there is no ILSA before 4th grade, missing crucial age when development is at its fastest. On the other hand, rich birth cohort data have been able to provide nuanced evidence about dynamics in child development from birth, but have mostly remained single-country studies that are not able to give insight into the role of the national context. In this presentation, I will consider the insights and limitations of comparative research based on post-hoc harmonized birth cohort data, by outlining early results from three ongoing projects, DICE, LifeCycle and EGAL.
International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development meeting (June 21st - June 25th) - CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Work + Family Researchers Network conference (June 25th - June 27th) - CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
InGRID-2 workshop (Nov. 27th - Nov. 29th)
From November 27th to November 29th 2019, Anna Volodina represented the DICE project at the workshop InGRID-2 ‘Comparative Analysis of Longitudinal Data on Educational Outcomes’ with the presentation on harmonization of background and outcome variables in the study of disparities in child development according to socioeconomic status. In particular, she focused on harmonisation of core explanatory variables (e.g., mother’s age at birth of child, income) and comparability of test scores on cognitive outcomes as well as behavioural outcomes in early childhood. The aim of the workshop was to describe and discuss educational transitions and outcomes in Europe across the life course. In particular, the workshop focused on the use of various longitudinal datasets available, amongst others, in Germany, Denmark, Belgium, which are key in going beyond merely descriptive approaches and getting closer to causal analysis. Contributions with a focus on comparability of longitudinal datasets, statistical methods for harmonizing longitudinal datasets, and comparative analysis of longitudinal educational trajectories were presented and discussed in eight sessions by 19 experienced researchers from Germany, Belgium, France, Hungary, Denmark, Israel, and Italy. Further, two contributions shed light on cross-country data of 5-year old children that will be available in 2020 and on the prospective EuroCohort study.
The event was hosted by the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), which is located in the centre of Germany’s capital city.